Meet Our Readers

Walk with us through those ceremonies, formal and otherwise, that mark the passage from one state to another (please read the previous in a “Submitted for for the approval of the Midnight Society” voice). Us is Sophie Amado, Lauren Catey, Turi Ryder, Tamale Sepp, and Rachel Hyman, telling stories about Rites of Passage.

Sophie Amado

Sophie AmadoSophie Amado is a proud Chicago native and she will judge you if you put ketchup on your hot dogs or if you’re still not excited to hear Go Cubs Go since November 2nd. She received her BA from the University of Iowa and spent a year surrounded by Spanish ham and red wine in Madrid, Spain teaching English to high school students with the Fulbright program. Sophie returned to her homeland to go to grad school for creative nonfiction writing at Columbia College where she teaches rhetoric to freshmen and is an assistant editor for Hotel Amerika. When she’s not doing either of those things she likes eating food that requires chopsticks or Googling celebrities ‘birthdays.

Lauren Catey

Lauren CateyLauren Catey was raised on a farm in Indiana. Her best friend was a horse. She moved to Chicago 10 years ago to go to art school, which made her parents deeply uncomfortable. Now she spends her time writing and teaching 3rd graders in West Humboldt Park. She writes stories that they probably shouldn’t hear.

Turi Ryder

Turi RyderTuri Ryder has spent most of her working life where almost nobody can see her: on the radio. You may have heard her on Chicago’s WGN or WLS (AM or FM}. She has also offended people over the airwaves in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Minneapolis (where she was voted Best and Worst of the Twin Cities by the same entertainment weekly in the same year), and Seattle. Turi recently emerged from her soundproof room with a memoir, “She Said What?”.

Rachel Hyman

Rachel HymanRachel Hyman is the author of the poetry chapbook Dear S (Big Lucks, 2015). She co-edits the literary journal Banango Street and co-runs the Welcome to the Neighborhood reading series. She was born in Chicago and will probably die in Chicago.

 

 

 

Tamale Sepp

Tamale SeppTamale is a stand up comedian and interdisciplinary performer who splits her time between Chicago and the rest of the world. She also travels internationally with her fierce eyebrows. Voted runner-up for Chicago’s Best Stand Up Comedian for The Reader, Tamale is a regular at The Laugh Factory, Zanies Comedy Clubs, and countless local and national showcases. With a BS in Agricultural Education and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media, her comedy occupies a wide spectrum, and never disappoints. Tamale also loves to shoot guns, skydive, and ride her giant motorcycle with an eyelash …because she has a lot to prove. Check her out at TamaleRocks.com and around town as she rides her motorcycle (often in costumes) with her pals in Bikes and Mics!

 

Road Trip, Wedding Bells, and Gossip Are Live

To kick off the holiday season, we’ve added the Road Trip, Wedding Bells, and Gossip shows to the podcast. Enjoy.

The Morning After the Election

From 11/9/2016

Jasmine:

At this moment I’m at the office, catching up after spending yesterday working as an election judge in my ward in Chicago. During breaks, and when I eat my lunch, I read updates from friends on Facebook, check Tumblr for news and analysis shared by the folks I follow, and on Twitter I retweet tweets about the day that just was.

I am a college educated Asian white collar worker living in Chicago. Chicago is, like New York City where I grew up, is a very blue city in a very blue state. I don’t feel immediately fearful, and for that I am profoundly grateful. Especially since Illinois is sending Tammy Duckworth to the Senate.

But I have a lot of loved ones who have very real fears about what may happen as soon as Trump assumes office, and the GOP-controlled Congress intends to do when it comes to the Affordable Care Act. A family with three children, two of whom need the ACA to pay for comprehensive mental health care. My parents both rely on Medicare, and my younger brother, who has private insurance through his employer, does still require the financial assistance of Medicaid to pay for kidney dialysis.

I am having many feelings, maybe too many, about the number of women, the number of White women who voted for Trump. I’m not nearly smart or thoughtful enough to unpack that at this moment. I reckon that when that day comes, it will not be a good one. Maybe that’s unfair but I’ve been a woman of color in the United States. If there’s anybody who knows about what unfair is, it’s definitely me.

When it comes to taking action and next steps, I’ve already begun. Working as an election judge was an eye opening and empowering experience for me. I would encourage more citizens to do it, if only to see what politics looks like at the very local level, and understand the importance of civic engagement all the time, not just during campaign season.

At the moment, I’m gonna get back to my job, continue to make (possibly inappropriate) jokes with my brother because humor is how I cope when I’m not stress-eating, and send notes to my precinct captain, alderman, mayor (yes, it’s Rahm Emanuel, but better or worse he’s what I’ve got to work with), state representatives, congressmen, Senator-Elect Tammy Motherfuckin’ Duckworth and Senator Dick Durbin to thank them for the service and ask one very important question:

What’s next?

Rosamund:
 
This is unbelievable to me still, and it shouldn’t be. The country showed its face yesterday, and I could not turn away. I was at a bar with friends when the votes were being counted, and felt a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach: He’s going to win. He’s really going to win. I can’t believe he’s going to win. I got uncomfortably drunk (sorry Sean), went to bed, and woke up to a terrible dream.

I am white and middle-class and college-educated. I grew up in cities, I live in a city now. My family is liberal — we butt heads on some things, but politically we are more or less on the same blue spectrum. My boyfriend’s family is similarly minded. Trump is not nor has ever been my America, but he is America. My white face and tech job and close circle of like-minded friends have let me shove this thought to the side, under the rug; the inconvenient truth that a significant and voting portion of the country does not think like me, and does not share my values.

My boyfriend has health insurance for the first time in forever. My friends and family are queer, Muslim, people of color. I really like having control of my reproductive freedom, it’s pretty sweet. There is more, a lot more, but I can’t think about it or I won’t move. I am trying not to be alarmist, but I am afraid. There’s a cold pit in my stomach when I think about what’s next. I am scared for the future.

I donated to Planned Parenthood. I reached out to my loved ones. Miss Spoken will continue to be a safe space for women, trans people, and their stories. We know what you’re saying is important, we’re here for it, and we will always believe you. We’ll provide that space, you provide the voices, and we will listen.

That’s a start, I guess. I don’t know how to change hearts and minds, or educate people (and maybe that’s not the answer), I’m bad at intentional uncomfortable conversations (I think that is part of the answer). But I’ll do it. We’ll do it. We have to. It’s going to be a long, shitty four years, and there is so much work to be done.

PSA: Resubscribe on iTunes

Sometime later this week, current subscribers will need to resubscribe to Miss Spoken on iTunes. Back when we started, I didn’t know much about podcasting. I still don’t. I do know that switching over to Libsyn gives a better UI, more options, analytics, you are probably bored so here it is again: We’re switching over to Libsyn. If you are currently subscribe, next time you go to Miss Spoken you will see a dead feed. You will need to resubscribe. Okay. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Meet Our Readers

This Wednesday, we’re talking about you. The theme is Gossip and the readers are Jasmine Davila, Anjali Waikar, Josephine Yales, and Takelya Weathers. You heard it from them first.

Jasmine Davila

Jasmine DavilaJasmine Davila is the fast-talking, thoroughly charming co-host of “Vital Social Issues and Stuff”, a podcast about pop culture from a lady’s point of view. She has read in venues small and medium sized for shows such as Tuesday Funk, 20×2 Chicago, That’s All She Wrote and this very show. You can find Jasmine on the web by Googling “Jasmine Davila” and on Twitter as @jasmined.

 

 

Anjali Waikar

Anjali WaikarAnjali is thrilled to be back in her hometown of Chicago after living on the east coast for the past two decades. She was a member of a comedy improv troupe in college until she quit to play Division 3 tennis until she quit to join a hip hop dance troupe until she quit to volunteer in Guatemala until she quit to find herself. She believes in trying everything once. She’s a virgin storyteller to the stage, but regularly practices the art of storytelling in her day job as a lawyer.

 

 

Josephine Yales

Josephine YalesJ[osephine]. M. YaLes is the author of ‘A Coven in Essex County’, a writer, a poet, and ex-museum educator. She currently lives in Chicago after a life time in Wisconsin and a brief stint in Utah.

 

 

 

 

Takelya Weathers

takelya weathersHailing from the south side of the city, Takelya “TK” Weathers is an eternal dreamer with the heart and soul of a poet. She’s an avid writer who can oftentimes be found with a pen and paper in hand. While writing and theater are her first loves, she comes to us as a graduate of The French Pastry School’s L’Art du Gateau program and a lover of all things deliciously sweet. In her spare time, she works on building her MsBijou Sugar Artistry brand, being a student of the Second City Theater Training Center, and dreaming in full, living color.

You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello

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Aloha!

Miss Spoken will be 2 ½ next month and I will be at work conference in Atlanta.

I won’t be back in 2017.

It’s been a really great experience. Mostly I have a ton of gratitude to everyone who has read for us. Each of you has brought something unique to the show, which makes it something to look forward to every month.

Lately, I just haven’t had as much fun. After thinking about it long and hard, it felt like a good time to move on.

In case you’re wondering, the show must and will go on. Rose has done the heavy lifting for the better part of the show’s existence and I know it will continue to be great.

Also, your new co-host Jasmine Davila is the best around.

I want to thank everyone who’s ever been the show. Your support is what keeps things going.

Thank you to Gallery Cabaret for taking a chance on us. You have been supportive and extremely easy to work with.

Keep going to the show. Keep performing in the show. Keep making lady live lit a thing.

Don’t worry. I’ll see you around.

Much love,

Carly

Meet Our Readers

She said yes! This Wednesday, Mary Fons, Rebecca Makkai, Veronica Vidal, and Rebecca Duxler bring us stories of Wedding Bells at Gallery Cabaret. No hole in the wall’s gonna ruin our special day (no really, that happened last week):

hole in the building

But onto the readers:

Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai is a fiction writer who does occasional live lit so that her inner high school theater geek never dies. She has two novels, The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and a story collection, Music for Wartime. The story collection was printed on special paper made from that one tree that fell in the woods when no one was there to hear it. She teaches at Northwestern University and StoryStudio Chicago, and she lives on the North Shore, where she enjoys alarming all the Republicans.

Veronica Vidal

Veronica VidalOriginally from the land of Happy Days, Harley Davidson, and THE BEST fish fry, Veronica Vidal was born and raised in Milwaukee but has called Chicago home for 19 years now. She has performed at Is This A Thing and a couple of open mics. In her free time, she is slowly trying to rid the world of acronyms.

 

 

 

Mary Fons

mary fonsMary Fons is a writer and designer who loves Chicago a lot, especially downtown Chicago, which is where she lives. She is a proud Chicago Neo-Futurist and is currently pursuing her Writing MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She teaches writing at the University of Chicago Writer’s Studio and if you want to take her “Stories Onstage: Writing To Perform” class (four weeks long) you should do it. Mary writes a blog called PaperGirl and it’s loads of fun.

Rebecca Duxler

Rebecca DuxlerYour Friendly Neighborhood Uber Driver by day, literary artist and athlete by night, Rebecca Duxler is always hungry for adventures. As a super nerd and a black belt, she is usually found taking people’s breath away on a Dance Dance Revolution Machine, in the kitchen cooking way too much food, giving people glove and orbit light shows, on the computer writing and making websites, on the fighting field, and on stage. She has performed at various open mic nites, literary shows, variety shows, and local “Got Talent” contests across Chicago and the surrounding area. She is the proud owner of several blogs, such as “Your Friendly Neighborhood Uber Driver”, a blog documenting the (mis)adventures of being a rideshare driver. Rebecca’s ultimate goal is to be able to make a difference in the world with healthspiration (health and inspiration), spread positivity, enjoy randomly spontaneous moments, and share her contagious laughs! Someday, she will be a game show winner, the “Got Talent” queen, and the next million dollar winner on Wheel of Fortune!

 

Rose Tinted Period

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This is the bag they want you to use to dispose of your lady period items even though the little silver tin box next to the toilet is already lined with that brown paper bag.

As you can see, it has flowers on it to remind you that the blood soaked items you are shoving in there are really like a bouquet of roses or at the very least, it’s nice wrapping paper for the stubby cotton vagina plug covered in your uterine lining.

I accidentally bought scented tampons a couple of months ago. I didn’t even know that was a thing so I wasn’t really making sure I grabbed the right ones. I mean the ones that glide in nicer and cost more because comfort always comes at a higher price and the ones who are for women who do “sports” and move more than non-sports women are much easier to distinguish.

I was enraged. And sure, I guess most people would chalk my reaction up to being hormonal, and on the rag and you know, acting like every woman does when it’s THAT TIME OF THE MONTH or whatever. But seriously, this notion that at every turn something and someone is telling me that the natural things happening to and from my body are disgusting and need to be disguised in fucking perfume is like, A PROBLEM.

I need to look like a flower and smell like a flower and then wrap my flower into flower printed and flower scented things. I need to shove a flower into my flower when flowers come out.

And no, maybe I don’t want or need an illustration of a bloody pad to be stickered on that silver tin box next to the toilet to notify of me where I’m supposed to be throwing my period items away, but It’s better than a floral barf bag.

I’m pissed that even having and sharing these thoughts will evoke some (man) response about geez, what is the big deal?

Maybe it’s that I’m sick of hiding things about my body, my woman body. I’m tired of everything being so shrouded in secrecy and myth and worse, tidied up into something palatable for who, men? I’m using the goddamn women’s bathroom, let’s get real here.

I get compact tampons and thin as a razor pads for convenience factors, but not for what I believe to be the overarching implication that I should never LET ON that I have my period even though it’s probably widely known, though not entirely accepted (?), that I may at some point be on my period when you come into contact with me.

Also, PMS is who I am. No really, hormones may beef up my anxiety or depression or anger or irritability, but at the end of the day, I am me and this is all of me and if you choose to not like me or ignore me or discount me for 20-25% of the month than you are rejecting ¼ of me and that’s not really going to fly.

I’m sorry I snapped and I’m sorry I overreacted and I’m sorry I grunted and rolled my eyes and sighed and yelled and cried. But I also can’t help it. So when I tell you I’m acting this way because of my period, it’s not an excuse, it’s that I’m trying to communicate that I’m having some difficulties and could really use your patience and sympathy and to still listen to my words even when they’re hard to hear through the tone of my voice and the look on my face.

But how can you empathize when what I’m going through is explained to the world as this temporary insanity that we mock and make fun of? And on top of that I’m miserable and unable to put on a happy face and have an Everything’s Fine attitude.

You’re taught to not express your feelings and I’m taught that I can cry, but only because I’m weak.

So yeah.

I’m tired. Very tired.

So, so tired of everything women go through only to be faced with scented tampons and floral disposal bags which are not so quietly reminding us to cover it all up in niceties because that’s easier for everyone else.

-Carly

Meet Our Readers

Hit the road tomorrow with Shay DeGrandis, Jenn Sodini, Roberta Miles, and Amy Eaton, who bring you tales of wrong turns and lost loves and mountain lions, oh my. Then there’s my story, which is mostly about not throwing up. There might be more to it. There’s definitely more to theirs. See you at 7.

Shay DeGrandis

shaygasShay DeGrandis is an artist, writer, well-meaning amateur therapist, accidental comedian, hospice volunteer, and soon-to-be funeral director. She produces and hosts the Chicago edition of Mortified, a comedy show of “personal redemption through public humiliation.” Helping performers bring to light their most awkward adolescent writing, she persuades them to excavate the hilariously embarrassing artifacts of their past and share their shame with strangers. She thinks it’s good to expose yourself. Learn more at getmortified.com.

Jenn Sodini

imageJenn Sodini grew up in Pittsburgh, went to school in Amherst, and then moved to Chicago and never looked back. She passionately hosts and co-produces CHIRP Radio’s The First Time, a live-music-and-storytelling series (quarterly at Martyrs’), and Psychotic Break, Chicago’s premiere mental-illness-themed variety show (first Wednesdays of every month at Schubas). She has been featured on The Moth Radio Hour with a story about running around with no pants on, which has surely helped her career as an analyst for a medical consulting firm. Jenn has also been featured on The Stoop, That’s All She Wrote, Blackout Diaries, Therapy Sessions, and Collector’s Edition, and is pleased to be a part of Miss Spoken. She’s finally moving out of her loft, so let Jenn know if you’re interested in purchasing a 7-foot-tall paper maché yeti.

Roberta Miles

934667_10151516665493773_1008715403_nRoberta Miles’ award-winning autobiographical monologues touch on growing up in Chicago in the 70’s and her life’s indiscretions and romantic regrets. Roberta chronicles her quest for mental and physical health with brutally hilarious candor. She has crafted her monologues into the one-woman show, I Want a Banana, and Other Desperate Love Stories, which she has performed at Strawdog Theatre and BoHo Theatre.

As the co-creator and producer of Loose Chicks and producer of Cafe Cabaret, Roberta continues to push the envelope with a wide range of memorable performances.

Amy Eaton


Amy Bio 2016Amy Eaton has performed original work with Tellin’ Tales Theatre and is a 2-1 Write Club winner (though she swears that 1 was really a tie).She has performed as an actor with Curious Theater Branch, Thunder Rd Ensemble, Mary-Arrchie and others. She served as Artistic Director for Evanston Children’s Theater and founded Mudlark Theater Company.
She lives with her two beautiful giant size teenagers who are being homeschooled, her incredibly patient husband and three jerky cats.
She comes from the Twilight Zone. But that’s another story.

Consent

On July 27th, 2016, our theme was Consent. Featured readers included Ada Cheng, Sarah Meltzer, and Caitlin Brecht.

-Rose